Wednesday, November 18, 2015

              *Following is reprint from my 2013 Opinions:
                                     Brenda, Bobby, Burl..enough already!!

Now, I love a good Christmas carol or song as much as anybody. But after 60 years,

I'm getting a little tired of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"and "a rump-a-pum-pum" 

with "The Little Drummer Boy". If that's not long enough, we now have stations starting 

their All Christmas music formats November 1st!  Joy to the World and Feliz to your Navy 

Dad.  Yep, there's less than 65 days of a "Holly Jolly Christmas" and The Chipmunks. 

I know, this usually gets some decent rating points for these "brave" but tedious stations.  

I know, I'll be able to hear this again in Target and Sears while shopping. Just can't get

 enough of those badly segued Christmas The Singing Dogs barking their way 

through "Jingle Bells"and deftly merging into "Mary's Boy Child" by Harry Belafonte or 

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir!  I cringe.

Oh! I know, there's always a 5, 6,or 7 year old coming along who's never heard these "ripe"

holiday "chestnuts" before. I worry that they're now sentenced to hear them the rest of their 

lives! Before you scold me and call me a programming "Scrooge", I love the Holidays. Perhaps

we should just throw common sense and programming philosophy out in the snow with

"Frosty" and enjoy it all. But I fear some group or dogmatic person will come along and

picket these stations for having too many songs with Christmas in the lyrics! It's only a matter

of time. If the lawsuits then prevail, that'll cut the Holiday song list down by over 80%! 

We'll have to get Brenda Lee to re-record "Rockin' Around The HOLIDAY Tree" I guess.

I can't even imagine Bing Crosby ever singing "White Holiday" can you? And Mel Torme 

would never have written "The Holiday Song" today. Somehow hearing Sinatra sing: "I'll

Be Home For The Winter Solstice" won't cut it either. While I wait for political correctness

to offer some new songs...Little Drummer're safe.  For now!.." a rump-a-pum-pum...

That's my RadiOpinion...what's yours?

By the way, Stan Freberg's "Green Christmas" is still funny after 55 years. A CLASSIC!

Listen here:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

                             THE RADIO TREADMILL...IS IT TIME TO GET OFF?

Recently, there was a 30 year celebration of the release of "Back To The Future". For some reason
that got me to thinking about the direction to where Radio was heading. It seems that most Radio
execs today are missing a most important direction, and that would, could, or should be:
Back To The Future. Radio, like a lot of industries, have always copied what was/is successful.
Scores of stations copied the early McLendon, Storz and Bartell formats. Later arose all those
"Fake Drake" or "Boss" stations. Why? Because they were winners. They were damned good.
They were winners...both in ratings and revenue. Today's "Deregulation Darlings" and their
corporate hierarchy, haven't even contemplated trying what has already worked. There has been
no consideration or thought of listening to tapes or recordings of what ingredients made those
stations of yesteryear so highly successful. Programmers today are afraid to take any creative
chances. The corporate overlords want to "play it safe". The format is one cleansed of any human
connection. Don't play or say anything that hasn't already been "scrubbed" first by research or
focus groups. What this leads to is banality, sterility and predictability. After all, just keep
something on the air that can produce the necessary revenue to pay off  the debt service on those
over-priced loans used to purchase that corporate armada of radio properties. It's hard enough to
run ONE radio station...running hundreds is close to insane! There's little thought about the
"product" on the air. There IS a lot of thought...usually the only thought... THE BOTTOM LINE.
These Bottom Line thinkers seldom think of people. Fewer people, less payroll. Less people,
more duties. Quite simple. One person can voice track for dozens of stations, right? Also, a
central music department can put the same music on a myriad of stations in many markets.
Voila! Radio has become a digital automation system, not too unlike the pre-programmed Shafer,
IGM or Shulke systems of the 1960's. Many of us feared then, these machines would someday
lead to our inevitable replacement. In the ensuing 40 years, not that much is different. If those
in control of broadcast operations today are searching for something "new", maybe they should
listen to Peter Allen's song lyrics and be reminded that "Everything Old Is New Again". Try
something! This treadmill radio has been on just isn't very good anymore. Time to get off!
That Fall day back in 1955 when I first hopped on board the Radio treadmill and uttered my first words on the air, I was 17 years old, naive, and full of excitement in joining this magical World
called RADIO. Somewhere along the way, the "magic" left, but the treadmill kept monotonously moving to a new software laden place where humans can be replaced quickly... just hit the "delete" button. That's MY RadiOpinion, what's yours?